The latest Judo News offered by

Prevent weight cuttting for young athletes

1 Feb 2019 21:05

 Amelie Rosseneu    Franco Di Capua

This week the IJF announced that the categories U55kg and U44kg will be cancelled in all competitions, effective at the first Junior European Cup in St. Petersburg. Sports Dietician Amelie Rosseneu advices some points to consider.


The main question in this discussion is whether most of these lightweights are really naturally that light or if their weight is kept down on purpose? Weight cutting happens in most weight categories and stages, but doing these practices while athletes are still not fully developed should be avoided as much as possible. Sometimes athletes need to be protected from themselves and if there is truly a concern that young judo players are being kept in too low weights for a too long time, canceling these weights all together will be the right thing to do.

I understand the logic around it but let’s not forget that weight is not a measurement for maturity. There are athletes in heavier weights that are also still growing, so why are we not concerned with them cutting too much weight as well? So far I haven’t seen any indication that removing the lighter weight categories in juniors will have a positive effect on weight cutting patterns.

Champions without a weight category

Last years in the European Championships for Cadets 3 out of 4 medalists in the U50kg category were at their last year of Cadets. This means that all of them, including European Cadet Champion Iznaur Saaev from Russia, will now have to compete U60kg in juniors against opponents that are possibly 20% heavier than them.

While there are relatively a lot of last year Cadets competing in U50kg, there are far less in the lightest weight category for women, U40kg. This phenomenon can be easily explained by the fact that girls go through puberty earlier than boys and generally finish their growth spurt by the age of 16 years. Boys only finish their growth spurt around the age of 18 years. Meaning girls get 2 years to catch up with a possible delay in maturity but boys don’t get this privilege.

The future

Only future will tell if this decision was the right one to make. If you would ask me, I’d recommend not to cancel U55kg weight category for men. There are barely any last year Cadets fighting U40kg, so the step U44kg to U48kg is much smaller. For men, who experience their growth spurt later than women, this is a different story and as we can see in the participant lists of junior competitions there are a lot more athletes competing.

The first competition for juniors is less than 3 weeks from now, and I’m curious to know how many of the U44kg and U55kg athletes will decide to compete. I wish all lightweight athletes easy transition and good luck!

Check the website of Amelie Rosseneu for more diet tips for top athletes.

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Daria Bilodid (UKR) - World Championships Juniors Nassau (2018, BAH) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Samet Kumtas (TUR), Jaba Papinashvili (GEO) - World Championships Juniors Nassau (2018, BAH) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Daria Bilodid (UKR), Sana Yoshida (JPN), Laura Martinez Abelenda (ESP), Andrea Stojadinov (SRB) - World Championships Juniors Nassau (2018, BAH) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo News


Judo in the time of Covid-19: Amelie Rosseneu

22 Mar 2020 13:25

Amelie Rosseneu was a six-time Belgium national champion. She won the U48kg gold at the 2010 European U23 Championships and was the winner of the 2012 Qingdao Grand Prix. She is currently based in Israel, where there is also a lock-down in place. Judo partner JudoCrazy asked Amelie about her situation. Read more


Adjust your diet to the current corona situation

15 Mar 2020 19:30

While at first a lot of people underestimated what new coronavirus (COVID-19) could do, some of us are now caught in a surreal reality that only happens in the movies. The IJF cancelled all competitions until April 30th and it seems like a lot of countries are following this decision by cancelling local competitions as well. In the best case scenario, athletes can still complete their normal training routine, but in many countries judo trainings are shut down, gyms are closed and some are even instructed not to leave our homes at all. Read more


Here is the competition lunch box for any coach

1 May 2019 14:55

Athletes have their dietitians to tell them what foods to bring to the competition. Coaches have as brainfood but coaching a day long takes more. Competition days are usually long and not always there is proper food to find at the competition venue, let alone a wifi connection to get the best intel on the next opponent. Read more


Big difference between calendrical age and physical maturity

31 Jan 2019 09:50

This week the IJF announced that the categories U55kg and U44kg will be cancelled in all competitions, effective immediately. The reason for this decision remains unclear, but rumors say that it is done for the safety of the athletes; to prevent cases of athletes who cut too much weight for a long period of time to be able to stay in the lightest weight category. Read more


How prevent to get fat as a judo coach

14 Jan 2019 08:55

Amelie Rosseneu is well known as a certified dietician and an expert in martial arts. She is Author of her book "Making Weight & Everything Else" and third Dan European U23 Champion. The Belgian lives in Israel and has always been fighting as a lightweight. Now she coaches many people to live healthy and prevent to get too much fat and especially coaches should know this. I'm sure you know a few examples. Maybe a good topic some day at the Coach seminar being an example for your students. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
Result City Date


First description Second description Third description Four description